Blazers vie to bounce back vs. Wolves

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Trail Blazers try to start a new winning trend when they welcome the Minnesota Timberwolves to Rip City Sunday night.

The Blazers had their season-high nine-game winning streak stopped in Friday's 112-99 loss to the NBA-best Memphis Grizzlies at the Moda Center.

Wesley Matthews scored a team-high 26 points, Damian Lillard added 20 and nine assists, and LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds for his sixth double-double. Chris Kaman came off the Portland bench to record 16 points and 11 boards.

Memphis overcame a 12-point deficit in the first quarter and shot 53.6 percent, while the Blazers made 40.2 percent of their shots.

"It's tough, especially when you're playing against a good defensive team," Lillard said of how to attack Memphis. "You can't get in there and get the shots that we're used to getting."

Portland's nine-game win streak was two shy of the team's longest of 11 in 2013-14. It finished with 22 assists, extending the streak of at least 20 assists in a game to all 16 games this season.

The Trail Blazers, who lost for the first time since Nov. 8 against the Clippers, are 8-2 at home and 10-1 when scoring 100 or more points. They are seventh in scoring with 104.1 ppg and 3-0 against Northwest foes.

Minnesota opened a three-game western jaunt with Friday's 120-119 victory over Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers and is 2-5 on the road. Thaddeus Young made the go-ahead foul shot with 2.8 seconds remaining and finished with 22 points.

Zach LaVine netted a career-best 28 points on 11-of-14 shooting, while Mo Williams scored 25 to go with 11 assists for the Timberwolves, who snapped a three-game skid and moved to 4-10 on the season. It was Minnesota's second win in the past 10 games.

"You can go right down the line, we had a lot of offense," Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders said. "We had 37 assists, which means we moved the ball. Even though we're undermanned, we fought to the last second."

Bryant scored 26 points and missed a desperation shot for the Lakers, who made 53.9 percent. The Wolves were slightly better shooting and hit 57 percent from the field. They are now 1-10 when allowing 100 or more points.

Wolves rookie Andrew Wiggins had only three points in almost 30 minutes. The T-Wolves are still without guards Kevin Martin (wrist surgery) and Ricky Rubio (ankle sprain), and center Nikola Pekovic (wrist/foot) is doubtful Sunday.

Minnesota will visit the Clippers on Monday and went 1-3 against Portland a season ago. The Trail Blazers have won 25 of the last 29 meetings with the Timberwolves, including five straight and 16 of the last 17 games at home.